Heater, Mother of Lance

We need an official clown car

Saturday afternoon my friend Cami and I took both girls to get some ice cream. It was an outing that required just the right amount of effort for a weekend afternoon: not too much like chasing a toddler around a park so that she doesn’t impale herself on a fence, not too little like falling asleep on the couch and letting the toddler scribble on your face with a fork.

When we pulled into the parking lot I leisurely glanced to the car parked on my left to make sure I had left enough room only to see a woman sitting in its passenger seat molesting her ice cream cone. What she was doing to that thing is probably illegal in Utah.

Before I turned the car off I told Cami to look at the porn unfolding next to us, and by the look on Cami’s face I could tell that it was only getting worse. So I did what I never should have done and I took another look. That woman was doing things with her tongue that should not be shared outside of one’s bedroom. Let’s just say that her ice cream cone was going to be in a great mood the following morning.

You guys, there are people out there right now eating ice cream cones in public just like she was, and they’re thinking no big deal. Let me tell you what, ice cream cone eater: YOU’RE WRONG. The only way you can eat an ice cream cone and not look like a pervert is with a spoon. So I decided right then that I will only ever eat an ice cream cone in front of Jon. And probably Mila Kunis.

After we thoroughly got the barfing sounds out of our mouths we took the kids inside and ordered our treats. Having been so recently shell-shocked, both Cami and I ordered our ice cream in cups. But Leta wanted a cone, a chocolate-dipped cone, and since I was feeling generous I let her get the regular scoop and not the kid-sized scoop. I will bring this up when she asks for presents come Christmas. What? Presents are for kids. Kids who eat kid-sized scoops. BOO-YAH.

We found a table near the door and began eating when a kid two tables over started making a racket. I looked up only because it was so sudden and noticed that he was wearing a sheet draped over his shoulder like in ancient Rome. Weird, I thought to myself, and as I scooped a spoonful of ice cream into Marlo’s mouth Cami goes, “DOUBLE-YOU TEE EFF, HEATHER. Why is that kid wearing bed linens?”

Maybe he was playing dress up? Maybe he thinks the ancient Romans had it right all along? Who knows, he’s probably three years old, and when your kid is that age you’ll let them wear their pajamas to church if it makes them stop screaming.

But right then that kid lifted up his sheet to reveal that he was not wearing any underpants whatsoever. And with the sheet still pulled up around his waist he climbed up into his chair and sat bare-butt in the seat. Turns out we still had barfing noises to spare.

I was like, DUDE, CAMI, are you thinking about your own seat now? Who was sitting here before I was sitting here, and had that person recently wiped? Turns out that this thought can spiral in a thousand different and unpleasant directions, so it’s best to not consider the previous occupant of your seat at all. You can redirect your attention to the image of someone having sex with an ice cream cone.

That kid and his family left while we were waiting for Leta Must Savor Every Moment Of Her Ice Cream Cone Armstrong to finish up. I had to chase Marlo around, distracting her with spoons and napkins, and the whole time I kept going, Leta! Seriously! Speed it up just a bit! Her response?

“Haven’t you ever heard of brain freeze, Mom?”

I set Marlo down so that I could bow to Leta’s superior frozen food knowledge when suddenly Marlo made a mad dash. It’s like the radar in her head had gone off, and she took off for that contaminated chair. MUST. CONTRACT. DISFIGURING. DISEASE.

And I thought I was going to be fast enough, but in fact, I was so not fast enough that not only did she rub her hands all over that chair, she rubbed her face on it, too. THE? Since when did she start going around rubbing her face on chairs? Especially chairs that have been smudged by the butt cheeks of a stranger who most likely doesn’t know how to use a toilet.

Cami didn’t rush to my side with the wipes I had luckily packed for the trip, no. In fact, she sat in her seat and started laughing so hard that she sounded like a pick-up truck whose starter is broken. I yanked Marlo up and slung her over my shoulder, marched her back to our table and proceeded to give her a bath right there, starting with her ass-stained face.

I think the chorus to this song goes, “This shit just happens to us.”

  • slappyintheface

    2011/05/16 at 1:59 pm


    and it’s not just you – that stuff happens to me too

  • jessiCat

    2011/05/16 at 2:12 pm

    Oh my hell, I just laughed out REALLY stinkin’ loud at my desk. That is the funniest thing I have heard in a while!

    I’ll hop on the @slappyintheface train here, and add that it happens to me too. Oy. Does it ever happen to me.

    I have a picture in my head of Marlo’s little crooked tooth grin, hair all crazy, rubbing her face on the ass seat in my head now. Friggin’ hilarious.

  • Anxious Annie

    2011/05/16 at 2:28 pm

    Soooo, can you imagine MY horror when I saw an idiot mom changing her kid’s diaper in the bench seat behind a table at one of our favorite pizza bistros? Right in the middle of the dining room. OMG. The minute they left we informed management what had just transpired so they could thoroughly disinfect. Jeez – no brains at all.

  • meagan0827

    2011/05/16 at 2:28 pm

    I am SOOOOO glad that things like this don’t just happen to me!

    I have the same picture of Marlo as jessiCat does….

    Thanks for the laugh, it had been a rough Monday 🙂

  • princessleena

    2011/05/16 at 2:37 pm

    Please tell me where this place is so I can NEVER go there!

  • beanique68

    2011/05/16 at 2:39 pm

    I live that life as well. My FOUR YEAR OLD daughter still LICKS everything. Ewwww. She woulda gone straight for that ass-seat, too.

  • writtendad

    2011/05/16 at 2:53 pm

    She could have licked the chair. In the back of your mind you know that. And THAT would have been so much worse. But the face rub is pretty bad.

  • reJoyce

    2011/05/16 at 2:54 pm

    inform Leta that, if she does get a brain freeze, she can put her tongue on the roof of her mouth and *boom* problem solved. She might eat faster just to see if it works, and it really does. I’m always surprised how few of my friends know this trick of the trade, but I have years of inhaling ice cream experience to back up my theory 🙂

  • mommica

    2011/05/16 at 2:58 pm

    Face in ass chair. I am making barf noises RIGHT. NOW.

  • Fifi Coon

    2011/05/16 at 3:10 pm

    OK – once again – that is some funny shit. But, on the other hand, who takes their kid for ice cream with no underwear on – wearing a sheet? Does that stuff only happen here in Utah??

  • ChickWhitt

    2011/05/16 at 3:25 pm

    I was once the person with the toddler that licked the top of the parmesean cheese shaker.

    Damn kids are too fast.

  • willsahna

    2011/05/16 at 3:39 pm

    When my son was four I took him and our 17 year old babysitter to Disney World. As we stood in line for one of the rides we looked down and he was licking the metal handrail! Never thought he would do that! I think i was even holding his hand at the time. He lived and did not even get sick. It took years off my life though.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2011/05/16 at 3:39 pm


    I suddenly want an ice cream cone.

    As for doing what Marlo did, that would be my two and a half year old son. It’s a joy. I’m with @Fifi Coon, though. Who takes their kid for ice cream wearing a sheet and no underwear? And then lets him show his flavor to the entire world? That’s so wrong on so many levels.

  • benoyroma

    2011/05/16 at 4:22 pm

    I must admit, I did laugh out loud, not unlike Cami. Are you sure your last name is not Tobin or McCarthy? My best friend’s girls are freakishly comparable to Marlo. For example, on our way to Tahoe, stop at the infamous Placeville McDonald’s to feed the kids (gross) and let them get their wiggles out. Eleanor is the kid who would follow all the other kids to the clear part of the play structure to wave at us….however, she was also the kid who would linger just long enough for us to pause, panic and scream noooooooooo. But it would be to late, as she was already dragging her tongue across the germ infested plastic. All that was left to do was laugh, as we dumped a bottle of purell in her milkshake. What was that? It tastes soapy? Shut it and bottoms up chica.

  • skull

    2011/05/16 at 4:24 pm

    now i want an ice cream cone. i wonder if i eat them in the same way as the lady parked next to you? maybe i’ll ask an unsuspecting passerby if i eat my ice cream cone inappropriately. because that wouldn’t be weird.

  • jenwilson

    2011/05/16 at 4:25 pm

    That is JUST SO DISTURBING. I cannot get the picture of that lady with the cone out of my head and I shall have nightmares about it tonight. And I would have completely freaked out had my kid done what Marlo did. Although, that is TOTALLY something my four-year-old would do. WHERE IS THE KID BLEACH WHEN YOU NEED IT?

  • CornFedGirl

    2011/05/16 at 4:48 pm

    And this is why I don’t leave the house….

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    2011/05/16 at 5:03 pm

    The words “ass-stained face” just made my year. Seriously.

  • jcaf40

    2011/05/16 at 5:55 pm

    Oh yes. “Ass-stained face” just became a staple in my vocabulary. Excellent!!

  • see.rachel

    2011/05/16 at 6:05 pm

    awesome story, hahaha

    also, i’m pretty sure leta is going to grow up to look like one of my favorite bluegrass players, Sarah Jarosz: http://americajr.us/pictures/sarah_jarosz_13537.jpg

  • mybottlesup

    2011/05/16 at 7:03 pm

    marlo needs her own show. cameras stashed everywhere, one attached to her head (just so we can gain insight into her perspective)… and watch the madness unfold before us all.

    also, have you seen the ice cream eating porn stars who are DETERMINED AS ALL HELL to use their tongue as a shovel-like device and remove the ice cream from the inside of the cone? that’s the shit that nightmares are made of.

  • karmadarling

    2011/05/16 at 7:08 pm

    I am kinda stuck on the fact that you begrudge that poor woman her cone. She probably has a million Marlos at home waiting for her and in her spare 10 minutes all she wanted was to enjoy a friggin cone.

  • Lillabilly

    2011/05/16 at 7:46 pm

    I will never forget the time I entered a public toilet in a shopping centre at the same time a grandma and mother came in juggling a little girl and a baby in a pram. The grandma was with the baby while the mother and little girl entered the stall beside mine – as the grandma asked a question just as they entered, the mother turned and took her attention off the little girl for a half second. Next thing I heard was the mum shout at the top of her voice “OH MY GOD WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!” and the Grandma saying “What happened? What did she do?!” The mother, in the most horrified voice ever, said “SHE LICKED THE TOILET SEAT!!!!”
    There just simply arn’t enough wet wipes in the world to fix that.

  • Yvonnne

    2011/05/16 at 8:48 pm

    I rushed here to leave you this….and…your last post…. well, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!



  • kat

    2011/05/16 at 9:10 pm

    How is it that they know, they just know, that that spot is the last place you want them right now? So of course that is the best place ever!

  • Caroline_O

    2011/05/16 at 10:37 pm

    I am so happy I found this blog post. I am due in October, hanging out with my friends’ kids to try and get a hang of how this all goes. Last weekend we had a toddler over, luckily his parents were busy chatting when across the yard I saw their little guy LICKING OUR DOG. Who is an extremely hairy yellow labrador. So hairy that we have considered using his sheddings as an alternative energy source for our home. I thought perhaps our dog was somehow enticingly tasty looking, but it sounds like this is just what kids do. Glad I have so much to look forward to.

    Netflix for boutique baby clothes: http://www.plumgear.com.

  • Jen

    2011/05/17 at 8:06 am

    Well it could have been worse – the lady could have chosen to eat her ice cream inside the shop. And instead of these events transpiring one after the other, allowing you some time to recover, you could’ve walked in the shop and looked to one side and witnessed the woman fellating her cone, looked to the other and seen a bare ass as it plunked down on the chair, and then you might have been put off ice cream forever – and how tragic would THAT have been?

  • Jen

    2011/05/17 at 8:12 am

    P.S. That Sarah Jarosz chick does look a lot like Leta. Wow!

    P.P.S. I adore the chicks in your thingy up there. (I forget what it’s called.) My boyfriend’s uncle shows chickens, doves, and ducks and I got to go to his house Easter weekend and take a crapload of pics and ooh and aah over his purty chickens. Have you ever seen the book Extraordinary Chickens? If not, I highly recommend. I never knew chickens could be so awesome looking.

  • Jess Mock

    2011/05/17 at 11:16 am

    When my son was two, he suddenly decided to lick the seat of a kid scooter in a mall play area. I know your pain.

  • Mrs_Wormwood

    2011/05/17 at 11:30 am

    eh, that woman going to town on the cone could have been me, except I don’t live in Utah. I’m not sure what my problem is, maybe an oral fixation/sweet tooth perfect storm, but I try not to eat ice cream cones in front of other people. It’s too embarrassing- my mind goes blank, and minutes later people are whispering and pointing. Urgh. Maybe I’ll eat less ice cream this summer, and my pants will fit better, too. And just think what a great immune system Marlo will have! She’ll survive any sort of apocalypse/super germ that comes along!

  • Shana in Texas

    2011/05/17 at 1:00 pm

    Really unfair of you to expect Cami to react with a wipe in a situation like that. She has no experience! Another parent would have had the pack open and been wiping away AND laughing loudly as well.

    @pandora Has A Box – “showing his flavor” haha! And, yeah I’m with you and @Fifi Coon – what’s with that public nekkidness and in an eating establishment?? Ewww!!

  • PrestonK

    2011/05/17 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve read this post 3 times and keep cracking up! Such a way with words, you have.

    Some people still look pornographic when they eat ice cream with a spoon. They do the ol put a spoonful in the mouth but only eat down half of the ice cream and mound the remaining portion with their lips as they slide out the spoon. Repeat. In and out, in and out, slobber, lick. Not always pretty. (did that paragraph turn you on or repulse you? lol)

  • beckertay

    2011/05/17 at 9:26 pm

    At least this hasn’t happened.

    I cringed the whole time I watched it.

  • Cheryl M.

    2011/05/18 at 11:04 am

    OMG…if I had been with you guys I would have been so grossed out but laughing so hard I would have had puke come out my nose!

    Hubby and I have a 5yo and a 3mo – both boys.

    Welcome to the world of “boys can be really gross”. We had to use the restroom at Walmart once, and while I was changing the baby, he frickin rested his chin on the changing table! AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!

    We also live in the world of “boys do crazy crap that beats the hell out of them”. My 5yo will be lucky if he still has any face left by the time he’s 10…I’m amazed he’s only got healing wounds right now.

    Oh, and the “showing his flavor” thing? I honestly think boys come out of the womb wanting to show the world their junk…mine would go to church naked if I let him. (For those of you who don’t have boys and are still of child-bearing age – be warned…they touch their junk more than professional baseball players, and yes, baby boys can wake up “happy”. I will never forgive my stepsisters – who have five boys between them – for not telling me that!)

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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